Specific question re: wifi only

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  1. bob60626

    bob60626 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

    Jan 27, 2012
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    I saw the two page thread in this forum, but it skirts around my specific question.

    My parents have contract flip phones with AT&T. My dad doesn't care much about phones (I think he's actually had the same one for years and bought a used one to replace it!). I think they would be better off with prepaid but apparently their bill is quite low (talk, no text or data).

    My mother loves her little flip phone. But it takes lousy pictures and isn't useful for much else than talking. I'd like to buy a full-price, probably used, smartphone for them to be able to use while traveling (better pictures, ability to check email over wifi without bringing her computer, calendar,... they already have a GPS unit for the car). They could also HDMI/MHL it to their house tv for Netflix and such.

    -IF- we call AT&T and get data turned permanently OFF and I buy a phone for my mother to swap sim cards between (probably only for trips) is it possible that we'd have AT&T's "blessing" and not have any data charges or smartphone charges?

    If so, what would be a good GSM phone I could pick up for around 150? 4-4.5" screen, good battery life when used only for the occasional call and PDA task,....
    FWIW, I have a Captivate lying around in pretty good shape but I'm not convinced by it yet.

  2. Digital Controller

    Digital Controller The Real Bass Creator Guide

    Sep 5, 2012
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    If you buy a smartphone via contract then they will force you to hop on a data plan, the only way is to buy a device full price. They shouldn't be able to access data if they do not have it in their plan, it will already be deactivated.

    I would suggest picking up a pair of Nexus 4's, they're a great device and for only 350$ you can't get much lower on a Flagship phone.
  3. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    Jun 12, 2010
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    It is against AT&T's TOS to allow any smartphone on their network without a data plan. If they "detect" one, they will add the plan and inform you it was added.

    Now the question becomes, will they detect it as a smartphone? There's been much discussion about if they can definitively. Here's the risk ... If the phone you buy is an AT&T branded phone, then most likely *some data* will be sent even if you turn mobile data off. IF it's not an AT&T phone, then there's less likelihood of that happening.

    Do you really want to put your mom in that position?
  4. TgeekB

    TgeekB Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2010
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    You would be taking a chance that none of us can tell you the outcome of. If they do detect it, you will be switched to a data plan and charged.

    What about a used iPod touch? Can you do what you want it to do on wifi?
  5. poriggity

    poriggity Well-Known Member

    Mar 9, 2011
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    I wouldn't risk it. AT&T WILL find out and put them on a data plan.

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